by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 11 of Leg 2. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Another night watch begins in strong winds and wet conditions. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Somebody’s turned up the heat out here, holy hot. It’s soaking wet up top, but it sure beats the brutal humidity down below. Never have I seen the guys so eager to endure some on-deck-dampness, but any excuse to get a little fresh air is quickly embraced. It’s too windy and watery for the hatches to stay open, so instead of 'beginning to look a lot like Christmas,' it’s 'beginning to smell a lot like B-O-ness.'
Fortunately, the doldrums grow near and there’s only a day or so of this high speed wet-fest left before we can settle down and dry out. Everyone’s looking forward to a possible squall shower, too. (It’s funny, we talk about showering in rain and savoring every morsel of our one-chocolate-bar-a-day, when friends and relatives are sending notes about Yule Log cake and upcoming Christmas roasts. Please – do you mind? We’re trying to focus!)
The guys on Groupama have finally fallen back to Earth, about 75 miles off our bow now, and just in time. We know if we’re going to have a chance at catching them we need to close the gap before the light air lottery ahead; otherwise they’re unreachable. Camper and Telefónica keep sailing fast to leeward and we’re doing everything we can to stay in front, but there’s little difference to be found in our speeds. Everyone’s worked hard to get here and it’s tough imagining that in 24 hours the fleet might turn inside out. That’s a sign of good racing though, and we’re all up to the task.
The doldrums got us on leg one, letting Telefónica sneak past to the east, so this is our turn to benefit. We’re certainly due for some fine fortune by now!
Kelvin Harrap looks up while moving a sail off the foredeck after a jib change. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
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